Here is one for our weird news files, it seems as though no matter where in the world you are everyone wants to know the sexual orientation of puppet … yes I said puppets. In Israel, in an effort to promote the use of clean energy for the state-owned Israel Electric Corp, there is a television ad that stars a pair of male puppets called ‘Plug’ and ‘Socket’.
Translated in Hebrew the puppets names are Sheka and Teka, and after starring in TV ads for more than a decade, like their felt brothers from the USA, Ernie and Bert, Plug and Socket have enjoyed the rumour of being a gay couple.
With names like Plug and Socket, we can only guess at what sort of jokes are made at the puppets expense.
However fresh speculation about the puppets sexual orientation has again ensued after the arrival of a baby puppet in the latest advertising campaign to air on Israel TV. Gay activists demand the ad characters, who have a close but ambiguous relationship, officially come out of the closet.
Some gay rights advocates accuse the company of being intentionally ambiguous about their sexuality as part of a cynical publicity ploy.
In their latest ad, Plug and Socket are seen in a living room, talking to a pinkish baby puppet with a tuft of orange hair. The scene then flashes back to a hospital nursery, where the baby is sucking on a pacifier and Socket congratulates Plug on the birth of his child. It’s unclear who the mother is.
Later in the ad, the duo sits on a park bench with the child. They breathe in the fresh air the electricity company suggests is made possible by cleaner energy production. Socket sniffs and suggests that the baby needs a diaper change.
Other ads have seen the two on a shaded paddle boat in the Dead Sea, driving a red convertible in crisp black suits and sunglasses, and lounging on the couch in their pyjamas. They have also been seen sharing a room with single beds.
The Israel Electric Corp says it does not understand the fuss over the campaign. It says the puppets, who have been on the air since 2002, are merely delivering the company’s messages. It’s similar to the response of the Sesame Workshop who produce Sesame Street who in a recent press release announced that Bert and Ernie are “are just good friends” and they “remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”